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Director's Report July 31, 2000
- In early July I sent information to agencies and regional bicentennial commissions regarding the two "Event Categories" being developed by the National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Council. The first of these programs is the National Calendar of Signature Events that will include a small, select number of nationally recognized L&C events trail-wide. The second program is the National Bicentennial Calendar of Public Events, which will list a "second tier" of national and/or regional L&C events. To be selected for either of these listings, an event sponsor must first submit a proposal for review and ranking.
- On July 12th I traveled to Lincoln, MT to address a summer teacher's institute. I updated these teachers on Lewis & Clark planning in the state and discussed ideas and concepts for improving L&C training material.
- The Commission's Licensing and Sponsorship Committee met with The Hingston Roach Group (THRG) on July 18th to discuss the findings of the Market and Feasibility study completed by THRG. The committee was presented with a brief report that recommended that the Commission not develop a "stand-alone" product licensing program in Montana, but rather join in a program now being developed on a trail-wide basis by the National Council. Further it was reported that Montana's private-sector business community is potentially very interested in supporting (monetarily & otherwise) a statewide bicentennial observance. THRG is now charged with completing a Strategic Strategy outlining details of how they would propose the Commission proceed given the results of the just-completed Market and Feasibility study. The Commission anticipates making a final decision regarding licensing and sponsorship programs at its October meeting.
- The Commission then met on July 18th following the meeting of the Licensing & Sponsorship Committee, primarily to review a preliminary draft of the developing statewide Bicentennial Master Plan. Following a presentation by the THRG the Commission discussed the various elements of the new plan. Once the Commission has offered its collective comments and suggestions, the draft plan will be distributed to agencies and regional bicentennial commissions for further review and comment. The Commission anticipates adoption of this plan during its October meeting. Mike Oliver, the Field Representative for the House and Senate Caucuses, made a short presentation on how to most effectively solicit funding and Congressional support.
- The MTRI Bicentennial Focus Team met in Helena on July 20th, also with the primary purpose of visiting with the THRG regarding the new Master Plan. Additionally, the Focus Team was told the long-awaited L&C Interpretive Sign Strategy is now "final," and is at the printers. This new strategy will be widely distributed in the state, as well a "how to use" session will be offered during the Fall L&C Conference in Great Falls.
- The Commission will team with Travel Montana, the Montana Stockgrower's Association, and MSU Extension to present three Farm & Ranch Recreation Workshops in February of 2001. A planning meeting was held on July 25th, and three tentative sites were identified: Wolf Point, Fort Benton and Dillon. These workshops are a part of the Stockgrower's Undaunted Stewardship Program, and will focus on how farmers and ranchers might become actively involved in the upcoming Bicentennial.
- On July 26 & 27, I participated in a meeting in Billings of key federal agencies who are working on joint L&C planning efforts. Their agenda items included: a discussion of a new, trail-wide map identifying public agency sites; discussion of numerous education programs; and how the upcoming administration change in Washington, DC might affect funding efforts of federal agencies, the national council and states along the trail.
- Planning continued in July for the upcoming Montana Lewis & Clark Conference. This second annual conference will be held from 1:00 PM on Thursday, October 5th, to mid-afternoon on Friday, October 6th at the Holiday Inn in Great Falls. A reception and tour is planned at the L&C Interpretive Center on Thursday evening, and Stephen Ambrose will be the featured speaker at Friday's luncheon. The conference will be preceded by the Commission's meeting on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. A pre-conference workshop focusing on working with volunteers and innovative partnerships will be held at the L&C Interpretive Center from October 2nd - 4th. Conference materials will be forthcoming later in August.
- The August issue of the Commission's "journal notes" newsletter was prepared in July.
- During July contracts were prepared for signature by the 17 recipients of the Commission's new grants program. Checks are presently being processed for distribution, and work has already begun on many of these L&C projects statewide.
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